Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 4 of Plein Air Painting / Photo Workshop in Santa Fe w/ Niki Gulley

9x12 textured oil by Niki Gullley
Plein Air Painting & Photography Workshop in Santa Fe, NM
Day 4, morning location: Rio Chama

On Day 4 of our Santa Fe workshop, we headed out early for our most complex location, a striking scenic overlook of the Rio Chama. Being perched along the rim of a cliff, our group was a little nervous, but once they adjusted to the height, they could really appreciate the beauty of the scene for their paintings. With so much going on below and only a half day to capture the landscape, we had to majorly simplify the canyon into basic shapes and colors. The river not only served as a perfect focal point, but also created a soft flowing line to lead the viewer's eye through our paintings. The rocky mountains provided a contrasting craggy texture and the green foliage added some life and color to the desert landscape.

Choosing to paint with palette knife today, I had a lot of fun playing with textures and mixing colors, which ended up adding to a feeling of spontaneity in the final painting, filled with energy and movement. While outside their comfort zone, my students' also produced some of their best paintings from the trip!

Painting along the Rio Chama.

If you'd like more information on our upcoming
Plein-Air Painting & Photography Workshops, please e-mail me at Niki Gulley,
or visit my website at
To see more of my contemporary impressionistic landscape paintings, go to,
or to purchase this plein air study from Santa Fe, e-mail me at Niki Gulley.

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